Editing and Uni

We had a prompt for Writing Craft at Uni. We had to write 1,500 words on Memory as Seed. That means we had to take a memory and write a short story with that as the basis. It was going to be workshopped so we had to then take enough copies for the class so they could give us their comments, I’ve already scribbled a paragraph on that process here. I’ve since handed that in and expect to get a mark on the 16th so I have to wait another 12 days to find out if I’ve improved it. What the workshop showed me is that I have a tendency to start three times, that is, to put in three first paragraphs and while that’s acceptable in a novel as you get to have a first paragraph for each chapter, it’s not acceptable in 1,500 words. (I did that with this article but deleted the entire first paragraph) I chose the one they liked the most and started with that. That was meant to be a draft and for me it was entirely a draft, I wrote for 40 minutes and then presented that work without a proofread. Other people worked on their draft and presented something far more polished. It’d be interesting to see how they went as opposed to me, I suspect their final work will be much more polished.

I found this article on editors and thought back to the workshopping process. My first thought was that it’s like having an editor and having been through that workshop process I’m all for having a good editor, someone who will understand where I’m going with a particular piece and point out the flaws. But reading further on in the piece I find there are different types of editing and my thinking becomes rather incomprehensible. What I’ve picked out is that there are structural edits, where the editor looks at the overall structure, there are line edits where the editor goes through line by line where they look at paragraphs, sentences, words and grammar and then there’s copy editing which I still don’t have a good handle on.

One of the things that totally encourages me about my Writing Craft class is my fellow students. Some of them are so, so talented and I’ll be honoured to be able to say ‘I was in class with them’ when they’re a top-notch, popular author. One young lady wants to be an editor and the skills she’s got are just phenomenal, she’s the one who points out something really useful about absolutely every piece of work we’ve read, I’m watching her put into practice everything we’re learning. If I ever get close enough to being a published author I’m hoping she or someone with her skills gets to look at my work and pass their magic brain over it, I guarantee the work I’d have to do afterwards will be totally worth it and the writing will be ever so much better because of their comments.